Goa`s unrecognised freedom fighters demand financial dues
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Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009, 18:18
Panaji: As Goa is gearing up to celebrate its 48th year of liberation from the Portuguese on December 19, unrecognised freedom fighters in the state have demanded their financial due, allegedly pending for decades.

The Freedom Fighters Association of Goa (FFAG) has demanded Chief Minister Digamber Kamat that those freedom fighters who are unrecognised in the state or central list, should be paid financial compensation in lump sum, honouring their contribution in the struggle for independence.

Goa, a state colonised by Portuguese in 1510 managed to get connected to mainstream India in 1961, after a prolonged freedom struggle, capped with Indian Army's operation 'Vijay'.

FFAG president Chandrakant Kenkre told reporters that around 300-odd freedom fighters have no written evidence to establish their involvement in the liberation movement.

"But we know them personally and many other freedom fighters will vouch for their selfless role in the liberation movement. Since they cannot be qualified for the pension, it's demanded that they be honoured by paying a lump-sum amount," Kenkre said.

He said former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane had assured to look into the demands of these freedom fighters.

Kenkre today met Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in Panaji and demanded that financial honour should be given to these individuals.

"Organising meetings and networking amongst people were prime duties conducted by these people during the liberation struggle. These were the people who rented their houses and helped in organising meetings, which created awareness amongst the masses against oppressive Portuguese rule," he said.

The freedom fighters have demanded that beneficiaries should be provided medical treatment facilities outside the state.

"The state government sanctions medical reimbursement for freedom fighters. But if they go for treatment outside the state without prior intimation to the health authorities in Goa, the bills are not paid," Kenkre said.


First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009, 18:18

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